The Stronghold is crushing it, giving the LA climbing community a base of operations. The place was built by climbers for climbers. When I walked in and confronted the massive boulders, a cave and the mountainous climbing walls towering beyond, I was like whoa.
The indoor climbing facility was way bigger than I was prepared for: photos do not really convey the height of the climbing walls, which are nestled into every nook and cranny of the historic Edison power plant building. All skills levels are welcomed, even somebody like me that has no experience a total noob.
The helpful people at the front desk were totally welcoming to this first timer and their professionalism and friendliness put me at ease: I was a noob in the capable hands of the pros. They even got me laughing talking about fun items (like the number 2 most important thing to bring climbing – a portable toilet system.)
Route setters post the Stronghold’s latest routes up the walls (changed every few weeks) on vimeo (see below for link) a really cool touch that made me want to check out their new creative challenges. The managers and staff are down to earth and involved in all aspects of the climbing world. Non-profits store adventuring gear behind the walls, to take underpriveledged LA youth on backpacking trips to nature. There is a wood-floored canopy-covered yoga room, for climbers to take classes that improve coordination, balance and flexibility.
The smokestack visible from the freeway is now home to a lookout on the upper walls, as well as an art installation. When I visited the smokestack housed this amazing magnetic pendulum. There is a lot going on here, but the strongest feeling is the love and passion for climbing at The Stronghold, and it’s contagious.
The latest videos of climbing routes and bouldering puzzles: vimeo.com/strongholdclimb